Logging Baseball

By Deane Barker on October 16, 2010

Digital Archivists for Baseball Don’t Go to the Videotape: You have to think they have some XML spec for this.

This is how baseball’s archives are created now — not by merely storing videotapes on a shelf, as it has been done for decades, but by a team of “loggers” whose job is to watch every game as it happens (2,430 during the regular season, and up to 41 in the postseason) and add computerized notes on every play, no matter how ordinary.

They’re hard-core:

With a click, Allen time-stamped each pitch. She typed in descriptions of each play. She noted camera angles (“WCF” for wide center field, for example), the cutaways (she typed in every word visible on signs held by fans) and the accompanying reactions (in this game, there was no use for the “benches clear” button). She clicked on all players directly involved with each play: the pitcher and batter, the fielders and base runners.